By BASHIR BELLO, Abuja.
Senator Adamu Aliero has thrown his weight behind the construction of Mambila Hydroelectric Power project.
The law maker who was speaking to journalists at his office in the National Assembly, said that the Mambilla project would add about 4000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid when fully operational.
“Already, we are generating about 500 megawatts of electricity, if the Mambilla project infused an additional 4000 megawatts, that would be an additional advantage.
The Kebbi State Federal legislator also revealed that majority of the Senators are in support of the completion of the project and the subsequent concession of the project to a Chinese consortium for effective management. He added that this would boost businesses all over the country.
While answering questions about the alternative to hydro electricity, Aliero said that there are plans to generate electricity through solar energy, windmills and coals.
He further explained that the Federal Government has made arrangement for universities, some towns and villages to be powered by solar energy.
He also added that streets are being powered by solar panels and more streets across are enjoying it.
Speaking on the tussle between the Federal Government and some states over the collection of Value Added Tax, Adamu said that most of the law makers support a situation whereby the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS would collect the VAT and then ensure an equitable distribution of revenue.
“Though the matter is in court now, but it would be difficult for individual states to collect VAT.
Most of the areas where VAT are collected, are situated in federally controlled assets like Seaports, Airport and Customs”, he added.
The Senator went on to explain that in the United Kingdom, VAT is collected by central body, India, Canada, Italy United Arab Emirate all allowed a central body like FIRS to collect VAT.
“Here in Nigeria 70% of VAT generated are from airports, seaports which all belong to the Federal Government. Therefore the issue of VAT collection by state governments would be problematic as individual states would start levying taxes on firms and individuals leading to incidence of double taxation”, he added.